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Muslims leery after violent attack in Montreal

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    Muslims leery after violent attack in Montreal

    It's really a shame to hear about such incidents. Muslims in Canada have only carried out peaceful demonstrations. Therefore, to attack and abuse Muslims is definitely uncalled for.

    It's sort of worrysome given that similar incidents took place a few years ago due to what happened in the US. Hope it doesn't escalate and the authorities get hold of and deal with such criminals.

    As a Montreal Muslim cleric recovers in hospital from what he calls a hate crime, other Muslims are being warned that they could also become targets if they are not careful.

    Faisal Zirari, 31, says he was stopped and harassed by a man at a subway station in Montreal last Friday. He had just finished prayers and was taking the subway home.

    "He puts the knife in my hands ... and he puts the knife in my legs," said Zirari.

    Police say the knife blade broke off inside Zirari's arm.

    A suspect has been caught and is charged with assault and possession of a weapon.

    Tensions have been high in the city's Muslim community since two Montreal mosques were damaged during protests in the Middle East over the publication of Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

    Montreal police haven't definitively labelled the incident as a hate crime, but the investigation is not complete, said spokesperson Raphael Bergeron.

    "It might have been a hate crime in this case," says Bergeron.

    Don't go out after dark: advice

    Salam Elmenyawi, head of the Muslim Council of Montreal, believes it was a hate crime.

    Elmenaywi is advising Montreal Muslims not to venture out alone after dark and to avoid taking the metro alone. He says he's heard from others in the community that violence is on the rise.

    He says many Muslims are insulted in the streets and verbally harassed.

    The Muslim Council of Montreal is also setting up a hotline for people who want to voice concerns.
    Ref: Muslims leery after violent attack in Montreal
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